Cartooning Like You Mean It

Cartooning, Teaching & Living – by Tom Hart

Archive for October 2006

Congressman Cuff

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I have to make a comment that is bugging me about today’s strip, seen here in reduction:

I found this character’s name in Leaves of Grass (“Song of Myself”, Section 6 I think), in the midst of a litany of Whitman is offering praise to:

“Or I guess it is a uniform hieroglyphic,
And it means, Sprouting alike in broad zones and narrow zones,
Growing among black folks as among white,
Kanuck, Tuckahoe, Congressman, Cuff, I give them the same, I
receive them the same.”

I like alliteration, and I like a word that means a hit or a swat- two of my favorite things! So I named this character “Congressman Cuff”, DESPITE LEARNING 5 SECONDS LATER (they’re called foot notes) that “Cuff” was slang from back then for slave or African American.

It seemed wrong to do, but I kept the name, because it was really hard to find any more recent usage or outrage over the word. Googling and poking around, I found one instance of someone “selling a cuffy” in the mid 1800s. So I am trusting the word is long gone, and ask humbly to use it to mean “whack to the head” and to move on.

The real issue about the strip should be that the Congressman’s dialogue in panel 3 doesn’t set up the “joke” in panel 4. It’s repetitive, and a 4 panel thing should be all new, all the time.

Thank you and goodnight.

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October 31, 2006 at 9:14 am

Michael Parks – Visions of God

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Hey an ex-student of mine, Michael Parks, has gone off the deep end and is composing new cosmic graphic novels/imagery about god, the universe and everything. He’s exploring all this stuff in a very strange, cool, self-posessed way. Check out his new GN, Visions of God, here.

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October 30, 2006 at 10:55 pm

Japanese Children’s Book Art from the 20s

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October 29, 2006 at 9:27 am

Posted in Art, Music, etc

Turtles Can Fly

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Leela says that you should scrap your childish desire for horror movies and see real horror movies like Turtles Can Fly by Kurdish director Bahman Gobadi. Read her much more articulate posting about it.

Read more about Bahman Gobadi here

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October 27, 2006 at 12:26 pm


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Three announcements!

Tuesday Oct 24: HUTCH READING AT Galapagos in conjunction with Greatest American Comics of 2005!

Wednesday Oct 25: Panel about the above

READING AT KGB Bar with Dan Goldman, Nick Bertozzi, Margo Dabaie and Elizabeth Genco.

AND IMMEDIATELY: Serializer is back up and live! Click here to see it, and click here to go right to hutchowen.

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October 24, 2006 at 2:11 am

Posted in --N E W S

I’ve gone Republican!

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How awesome is this? I’ve been accused of providing fodder for the Republican propaganda machine! For a natural contrarian, I’m pleased as punch, but for someone who thinks impalement is too good for some of these a-holes, well…

The text follows below

Hart’s cartoon aids GOP propaganda
When I read Tom Hart’s cartoon about Democrats having no message, I was really bothered by it. Obviously the Democrats have more message than the Republicans, but the media and Republicans are very good at spinning myths into the general populace. (Well, it’s pretty much what 100 percent of their energy and money goes toward, so this figures.) Hart, maybe inadvertently, helps the GOP’s propaganda and myths spread, so dumb liberals will fall for RoveThink. (He was searching for an easy punch line most likely.)We all know what Democrats stand for: higher minimum wages; universal health care; election reforms like paper trails on electronic voting machines; less poison in our air; fewer violations of the Geneva Convention; fewer tax dollars going to train terrorists like Osama and the Taliban; fewer no bid contracts to Halliburton; and a thousand other issues you can think of if you try. The Republicans have gotten caught lying about every single topic and issue there is. Yes, the Democrats are worse at propaganda and fighting for what they believe in (or what they pretend to believe in), but this total lie that …


Actually, I was merely going to post this at let it lie, but I remembered what my friend Gwen from Rev Billy’s choir and I shared when we saw this: what Democratic party is he talking about? Is there a Democratic party that believes in universal health care? I haven’t seen it. That’s what my comic on Friday was about. Who cares about the jerk in the hole? -TH

A postscript- Leela tells me this writer is the boyfriend of a funny comedienne we once saw, and a activist in NYC. More power too him, and more power to him finding a space to get the message out more. I wish he was right about the fucking Democrats, though.

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October 19, 2006 at 2:03 am

Three Amazing Thing I’m Going to this Week

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Three things lined up are going to keep me busy and foaming from the mouth with pleasure:

Thursday – Sansho the Baliff I’m seeing with Leela and I’ve never seen it but it is a favorite of Polly’s and everyone else. At Lincoln Center Film Festival

Friday – Keith Mayerson’s opening for his new work. Keith always has so many amazing paintings he has to hang them salon style all around the gallery. This will be wonderful.

Polly Frost’s HOT! actors read from her new collection of scary sexy stories: Link Here

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October 18, 2006 at 8:48 am

Posted in From Tom

The Rove Strips you’ve never seen

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Ok, so for reasons I’ll go into later, these strips are not running in the METRO so I thought I would leak them out here, a couple at a time.

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October 13, 2006 at 9:17 am

Michelle’s opening!

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Friday was my student Michelle’s opening for FLIES, her art
extravaganza exploring her fly characters in all imaginable media:

paint, drawings, stickers, photos, and animation! Look at these people
riveted by the animation. Go flies and bravo Michelle!

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October 11, 2006 at 12:09 am


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I hate to admit a jerk was right, even somewhat, but I do think I was getting out of control with my underlining.

A very productive conversation with the two colleague/peers whose opinions I value most, Matt Madden and Jessica Abel, led to me to realize maybe I was out of control.

Here’s a link to a strip:

and even cleaned up there’s tons of ’em:

To me, this underlining thing was always about the LINE, and how it effects the RHYTHM of the strip. Never about how you would hear it in your head. Never really about the character’s voices. But I was out of control (did I mention that?) and wasn’t really thinking about how people would read it.

The thing is, the line is the thing. I LOVE line, and I felt like the lines in the balloons echoed the lines in the strip. On the ground, on the rocks, in the characters pants, whatever. It’s about lines and not thick bold letters.

It looks ok on the screen I think, but today ( here ) , when I saw it in the paper over Matt and Jessica’s shoulders… oy vey. On the paper it was too much. I’m embarassed. At 36, I am still learning things totally anew.

I’ll be trimming at least 50% out of the underlining budget for the rest of the 2006 fiscal year. No new taxes!


PS- the jerk I mention in the first sentence is RF. RF- you were only partially right!

PPS- I did something else right tonight- I took Heather and Ben to Harold night at UCBT and THE ROCK AND ROLL WAS PERFECT!

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October 4, 2006 at 2:12 am